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Salmon's own diet sure to affect yours

A STUDY by American scientists has sparked new fears over the safety of Scottish farmed salmon by warning people that they should eat no more than two portions a year.//

Researchers at the University at Albany, part of New York State University, concluded that the health benefits of eating Scottish fish are outweighed by risks caused by pollutants.

Where the salmon comes from and what the fish is fed determine whether the health risks will outweigh the benefits, according to the study published in the Journal of Nutrition recently.

Researchers found that the contaminant levels in farmed salmon from certain regions of the world increased the risk of cancer enough to outweigh its coronary health benefits. The toxin levels were so high in some farmed salmon from Europe that people could not afford to eat more than a single serving every five months, they said.

David Carpenter, lead author of the study and director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the state University at Albany's School of Public Health says although the toxin levels in wild salmon weren't high enough to exceed the health benefits, the same was not true for farmed salmon, which are raised on a diet of fish oil.

The level of contaminants in fish oil - often derived from local fish - vary depending on the region of the world.

Farmed salmon from South America had the lowest level of pollutants followed by farmed salmon from North America. Salmon from Europe had the highest level of pollutants, according to the study. "We think it's because that area's been industrialized much longer," Carpenter said.

After other studies indicated that fish oil increases the levels of toxins in farm-raised salmon, some fish farmers in recent years have switched to vegetable oil pellets. But a study last year found the heart-health benefits from fish like salmon were weakened when they were fed vegetable oil instead of fish o
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